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Similarities And Differences In Two Romantic Poems

1596 words - 7 pages

William Wordsworth was born on April 7, 1770 in Cockermouth, Cumberland. Samuel Taylor Coleridge was born on October 21, 1772 in Devonshire, England. In 1798, Wordsworth and Coleridge anonymously published a collaborated collection of poems called Lyrical Ballads together they emerged as two prestigious figures of British Romanticism. Among the most notable poems published in the Lyrical Ballads are Wordsworth’s Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey and Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. These two great poems were simultaneously published in the first edition of Lyrical Ballads and both embody a common theme: the lesson to appreciate nature, passed down through an elders’ ...view middle of the document...

The Mariner had murdered the albatross for no apparent reason: “With my cross-bow / I shot the Albatross” (81-82). The naïve youth/listener of this tale is identified in the first stanza as the “next of kin” a young wedding guest (6). The poem then goes on in relaying a first-hand account of the suffering the Mariner endured due to his lack of appreciation for nature, specifically when he had killed the albatross. As the consequences unfold, the Mariner forcibly learns to appreciate nature. Due to his lack of respect and appreciation, the Mariner is doomed to wander the earth, neither fully dead nor alive. This inflicted doomed becomes apparent when the “Night-mare Life-in-Death” appears taking the form of a woman, she than rolls a dice, winning the soul of the Mariner: “And the twain were casting dice; 'The game is done! I've won! I've won!'” (196-195). As night approaches the sailors drop dead, everyone expect the Mariner who is instead cursed by the dead sailors’: “Each turned his face with a ghastly pang, And cursed me with his eye” (214-215). This curse compels him to tell his tale, and the lesson he learned, which is to appreciate nature he must than repeat this to other naïve youths, and in this case, the wedding guest. At the end of the poem, the Mariner has finished reciting his tale to the wedding guest, and the youth is left unable to accept or deny the tale:
He went like one that hath been stunned,
And is of sense forlorn:
A sadder and a wiser man,
He rose the morrow morn. (622-625)
In both of these poems, the similar themes are further displayed by the literary element of sound, which helps to exemplify the theme. In Lines the sound is a particular rhyme scheme, in this case it is internal rhyme. The internal rhyme in Lines creates an intense drum-like beat, emphasizing particular stanzas in order to relay importance. The sound is one of reflection: the speaker is reminiscing about his youth and his first impression of nature. This sound is immediately addressed in the first line: “FIVE years have past; five summers, with the length / Of five long winters!” (1-2). In the last stanza the sound is reinforced with another literary element, alliteration, and along with it the newly revealed lesson/theme:
Of this fair river; thou my dearest Friend,
My dear, dear Friend; and in thy voice I catch
The language of my former heart, and read
My former pleasures in the shooting light
Of thy wild eyes. (116-120)
A similar sound of internal rhyme is evident in The Rime. The sound in this poem helps the narrative progress, and transforms overlooked information into attention gabbing details: “The guests are met, the feast is set” (7). The Rime also contains alliteration in order to portray the distinct difference in age between the two characters, conforming to the theme: the lesson to appreciate nature, which is being passed down through an elders’ tale of experience to the naïve young. The poem opens with the introduction of the...

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